It’s not easy capturing the essences of an adventure race that spans 50km of remote wilderness. However, the MOMAR is incredibly fortunate to have an amazing team of both professional and amateur photographers moving throughout the course on race day taking some awesome shots. BIG THANKS goes out to David Silver, David Fornier, Nick Sopczak, Sophia Ha, Matthew Beckett, Carla Yarrow, Rumi Kodama, Aimee Asselin, Melissa Marsh, Earl Purvis, Jordy Ydse, and Caroline Falconer!
Here is my list of the Top 20 Best Photo Moments from the MOMAR in 2010. The first ten are from Squamish and the last ten are from Cumberland. Enjoy!
1. MOUNTAIN BIKING DOWN HALF NELSON – Photo by David Fournier —- The Half Nelson Trail opened just in time for the MOMAR in Squamish. Local trail builder Ted Tempany led the design and construction which was a government funded project. This 3km roller coaster like ride is a true rush for the XC rider and was a highlight of the Squamish course. This photo captures the Trent Hillbillies in fast action.
2. UP THE CHIEF - Photo by David Fournier —- I still remember the ‘oh shit’ look on many racers’ faces when on race morning ’09 we handed out the maps and it revealed the tightly guarded secret that we were sending them UP the 600m Stawamus Chief. This stage was near the end of the race again this year as David captures the ‘death march’ up to the top. It’s all about the reward though, right? Next stage: Rappel!
3. RAPPELLING OFF THE CHIEF - Photo by Nick Sopczak—- A team member of the Ponytails descends off the top of the Stawamus Chief down to a rock shelf 150′ below. The Sea to Sky Highway and Howe Sound are in the background. The MOMAR is the only company to have ever used the Chief trails for an organized race. Big thanks goes out to Colin Moorhead and his team at the Squamish Rock Guides for managing the rappel!
4. TEAMWORK AND FUN PERSONIFIED – Photo by Rumi Kodama—- Richard Alm lead a team of Innovative Fitness trainers and clients through the rigours of the MOMAR. There are other photos showing Richard crossing the fast flowing and glacier cold Mamquam River numerous times with not only his teammates’ bikes, but also with his teammates on his back. What a stud!
5. CROSSING THE MAMQUAM – Photo by Jordy Ydse —- This is the Mamquam River crossing where the water is cold and the bottom is slippery. Team Corsa Cycles look like pros making the trip across. Big shout out goes to Dave and Sandra at Corsa for their incredible support since our first year in Squamish.
6. BATTLE WOUNDS – Photo by David Fournier —- Megan Fretter and Hailey Van Dyk of Team Atmosphere show off their injuries during a rest stop on the Chief. Megan apparently went over the handlebars and cut both knees; the medics had to order her to stop and get patched up. Hailey’s is more in the ‘boo boo’ category.
7. MAKING RICHARD SIMMONS PROUD – Photo by Earl Purvis —- There’s always a strong contingent of teams that bring some serious spirit to the MOMAR. At the Squamish MOMAR, it was The Richard Simmons Fan Club (Brie Ansell and Erin Van de Water) who had the most and walked away with the Spirit Award.
8. FINALLY! FINALLY! FINALLY! – Photo by Earl Purvis —- Vancouver’s John Markez is an incredible adventure athlete and is always a favorite to win the MOMAR. For years now, John has come close but something (big crash, urban nav, controversial CP location, etc) always seems to prevent him from having that totally clean race. But at the Squamish MOMAR this year, there was NO stopping John and he FINALLY won it all! Woohoo!
9. HOW DO THEY DO IT? – Photo by Mark Teasdale —- It always amazes me that the MOMAR racers can hammer through eight hours of racing and then still have the energy to stay until last call. This year’s afterparty at MOMAR Squmaish was fantastic with a great band and DJ that kept the dance floor packed all night long.
10. JEN SEGGER RULES! – Photo by Mark Teasdale —- Yes. She. Does. For years, I had always wanted to bring a MOMAR to the Sea to Sky corridor but it wasn’t until I saw professional adventure racer, Jen Segger, at the Yeti that the ball actually started rolling. Jen became Squamish’s Course Director and designed some of the most challenging and spectacular MOMAR course to date. Thanks JEN for raising the bar and for your amazing work with the MOMAR!
11. IT TAKES A GREAT TEAM TO MAKE THE MOMAR HAPPEN – Photo by David Silver —- Friday Night Registration is a big part of the MOMAR’s complete weekend experience. In Cumberland, we’re hosted by the Riding Fool Hostel and the casual and historic nature of this venue is great for giving the racers and volunteers a chance to hang out with a cold beer. In this photo, we have our volunteer Emily handing out beer, RFH staff Innis, and MOMAR staff (Tamara and Lisa). Cute MOMAR shirts too!
12. THAT’S A LOT OF KAYAKS – Photo by David Silver —- It’s always a great sight seeing the hundreds of kayaks take to the water on Comox Lake for the start of the Cumberland MOMAR. I would bet that there is not another race from Alaska to Peru that has this many kayaks on a race start line as there is at the MOMAR. Of course, this could not happen without the incredible support of all the kayak companies that rent and deliver boats for this race!
13. GREAT RIDING IN CUMBERLAND - Photo by David Silver —- Cumberland ‘s trail network is amazing and it’s a big reason why the MOMAR has remained in the Comox Valley all these years. Two new trails were build last winter called Thirsty Beaver and Blue Collar and both were part of this year’s MOMAR. Racers love them both despite the mucky conditions. Thanks to all the people like Jeremy Grasby, Dan Espeseth, Terry Lewis, Al Munday and many more who dedicate countless hours to creating all the flowy trails.
14. WHERE THE #%$& ARE WE? - Photo by David Silver —- A significant portion of the MOMAR Cumberland course requires teams to self-navigate from one checkpoint to the next. Here’s a team trying to orient themselves from a viewpoint on the Trekking Stage. Those teams with good map reading skills and patience usually have the advantage over the teams that rush their way through or follow other teams. It’s always interested to watch from the transition to see who emerges from the trails first (and last).
15. ASS OVER TEAKETTLE - Photo by Matthew Beckett —- We’ve all been there. Wikipedia should use this photo to go with the phrase “Ass Over Teakettle.” Enough said.
16. REDNECKS LOVE ADVENTURE RACING - Photo by David Silver —- I think this is my favorite costume of all time. The Bong Cousins (Irene Borecky & Dave Hope) came complete with mullets, beer hats, and a pregnant belly. They were the unanimous winners of the Spirit Award for the Cumberland MOMAR. Seeing this photo still makes me laugh.
17. PROPS TO JEREMY – Photo by David Silver —- He’s the owner of the Riding Fool Hostel and has raced in 9 of 10 Cumberland MOMARs. He’s won a few and been on the podium pretty much all the other years. And he does it all in a plain old sea kayak and a single speed mountain bike. Jeremy Grasby is his name and we honoured him with an Award of Excellence for his amazing support for the MOMAR over the years. Great guy.
18. THE CHILI MAN - Photo by Sophia Ha —- Not only has Al Bergman of Berg Bikes sponsored the MOMAR for the past six years, but the Berg Chili Stand has become a fixture at the MOMAR finish line. Credit goes to Berg Bike athlete Lisa Hughes Fisher for making the awesome veggie chili. Think custom when it’s time for a new bike.
19. ALL DONE! – Photo by Carla Yarrow —- It takes racers up to 8 hours to finish the MOMAR and for those that come in close to the cutoff time, the MOMAR inflatable arch and finish line chute is enough to make them (almost) weep. We put a lot of effort into making every racer’s finish line experience special — MC Dave Norona will call your name and cheer you on, volunteers will give you a finisher medal and rattle some cowbells, and we’ll take a souvenir photo of your sweaty smiling face to prove you did it!
20. SUPPORTING MAKE-A-WISH – Photo by David Silver —- The MOMAR is very proud to have the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC/Yukon as our official charity. Over the past four years, MOMAR participants have generously donated $17,000.00 to a cause that “enriches the lives of children with life threatening medical conditions through its wish granting work.” Here’s a photo of Dee Raffo who was the lucky winner of the trip for two anywhere WestJet flies.
Well, that’s it! So many great photos and so many great stories to go along with them. I could easily do a TOP 100 but 20 took me long enough.
Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at the MOMAR in 2011.